Friday 28 August 2009

Major Changes to Grimsby-Immingham/Barton services

From Monday 7th September, Stagecoach are making some very big changes to services between Grimsby, Immingham and Barton. There are big improvements for some, and reductions for others. But first it's probably best to describe the current services.

The main Grimsby to Immingham service is the 45, which operates every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes. Most services start from Victoria Street Tesco in Grimsby, and some early morning services also serve Cleethorpes. There is a peak time service from Habrough and South Killingholme and a college day variant, the 45C that operates via Franklin College. Evening and Sunday services are provided by hourly route 46 from Immingham to Cleethorpes via the Willows Estate and Grimsby Town Centre, which seems to be unchanged in these changes.

Grimsby to Barton flows are handled by the 250 which operates every two hours or so Monday to Saturday via Immingham, South Killingholme, Ulceby and Barrow. This service is interworked with the 450 between Barton and Brigg, and is a former RoadCar route. The 250, combined with the 45 gives Immingham up to 4 buses an hour to Grimsby.

The changes from Stagecoach merge the 250 into the 45 service, which reduces from every 20 minutes to half hourly - almost halfing the number of buses between Grimby and Immingham. The 45 will no longer serve Victoria Street Tesco, but most journeys will extend to South Killingholme, increasing it's services from every 2 hours to half hourly.

From South Killingholme there are two variants - the 45b hourly to Barton, doubling the service frequency here, and the 45h to Habrough, giving it an hourly bus link to Grimsby, and a vast improvement from it's only current daytime bus service on route 150.

There is also a further variant however, the 45m. This does not serve South Killingholme, but instead serves Stallingborough MIC Plant, and the Queens Road area of Immingham, near to the former Loco Shed. However it does not go onto the dock estate, meaning the end of buses onto the docks, afacility the current 45 provides at peak times. The 45m generally only operates at weekday peak times, and some early morning journeys start back in Cleethorpes. Also the 45C College Service still operates, and there are occasional Grimsby to Immingham journeys numbered plain simple 45.

All sounds rather complicated, but the main Grimsby-Immingham-South Killingholme service is generally clockface, as are the Habrough and Barton services. The use of letter suffixes will also help identify where each service goes, though it makes the timetable very confusing to look at.

So is it a good move - if you live in Barton, Barrow, Thornton Curtis, Wootton, Ulceby, South Killingholme or Habrough, then yes. The new 45b Barton service for example enables the bus to be used for commuting to//from Grimsby, something not possible with the 250. But passengers in Immingham, Stallingborough and Healing will regretably see a major reduction in services.

Service 150 between Grimsby, Immingham, Habrough and East Halton will continue with two return journeys Wednesday and Friday plus an odd one way East Halton to Grimsby journey five days a week. However I wonder if the Habrough diversion is needed now with the new 45h?

Finally the 45b looks to be interowking still with the 450 on weekdays, and the new Stagecoach timetable lists connections onto this, and the 350 Humber Fastcat service at Barton. Well done to Stagecoach for doing this and trying to promote connections.

Revised times in Grimsby: Services 2, 13 and 14

Earlier this year service 2 was brought back in Grimsby to serve the Gilbey Road area and Europarc Industrial Estate and Business Park. However this also meant a reduction from a 6 day a week half hourly service to a limited hourly 5 day a week service with a large afternoon gap. From Monday 7th September the service shall have slightly revised times and a new 1605 departure from Europarc to Grimsby.

Also seeing revised times are services 13 and 14.

Better bus service to Franklin College

From Monday 7th September, Stagecoach are improving the bus service to Franklin College in Grimsby, diverting half hourly service 7 via the College as part off a revised route on the Grange Estate

Improved Laceby Peaktime service

From Monday 7th September, Stagecoach are improving the early morning and peaktime Laceby service with the extension of some journeys on service 7 between Grange Estate, Grimsby and North Sea Lane to the village. This will fill gaps in services 3 and HF that currently provide the main Laceby service.

This is not the first time service 7 has served Laceby. In the late 1980's (and maybe at other times too) a different service 7 between Bradley Crossroads, Central Parade and Grimsby was extended to Laceby in the evenings.

While this move improves the Laceby service at certain times off day, the daytime service from Laceby is very badly spaced - two buses within nine minutes then nothing for 51 minutes.

Thursday 27 August 2009

Service 173 - New Operator

Service 173 links Withernsea and Hull, operating via villages including Burton Pidsea, every Saturday. There are two services from Withernsea, and one from Hull. The service is operated by EYMS, and until last year was operated on a commercial basis. However in last year's bus cuts it was proposed for withdrawal until East Yorkshire Council stepped in to secure it's continuing operation.

Now the service looks to have a new operator. According to this VOSA entry, it is Lords Coaches:

Registration Accepted by SN
Starting Point: Withernsea
Finish Point: Hull
Service Number: 173

Service Type: Normal Stopping
Effective Date: 12-SEP-2009
Other Details: Operates on Saturdays only

This seems to contradict a comment on this blog last week that the new operator would be Pearsons Coaches. That comment also indicated that the Saturday peak time 174/175 services, which serve many off the same villages as the 173, would also be taken over by Pearsons Coaches. (The 174/5 also run on weekdays on a commercial basis by EYMS).

The VOSA entry is probably correct, though the 174/5 could have been included on the same registration as the 173. Whatever the situation though, the new operator will be the only independent operator operating a registered local bus service within Hull, which is currently a Stagecoach/EYMS only zone. And if it is Lords Coaches it will be their only registered local bus service.

If anyone can confirm the new operator, and if the Saturday 174/5 service is included in the new tender, please use the comment feature.

Friday 21 August 2009

Two new EYMS routes

From 1st September, EYMS are introducing two new Monday to Saturday services.

The 34 will link Holme upon Spalding Moor to Market Weighton, with connections onto service X46 for Hull, Beverley and York. The services operates hourly in the morning/early afternoon, with later afternoon journeys on a Saturday. It is not the first time such a link has been tried - back in 2002, East Yorkshire Council funded a very similar weekday service, the 740, also operated by EYMS. Since that ended a Friday only service by Thornes Independent has been the only link from Holme to Market Weighton.

Meanwhile the new 242 service provides one journey into Beverley in the morning from Hedon, with a lunchtime return. The service also serves Preston, Sproatley, Bilton and Skirlaugh amongst other villages en-route. Between Skirlaugh and Beverley the new service is similar to Monday and Wednesday service 241 from Aldbrough, and the departures from Beverley are only 4 minutes apart.

No information is provided if the services are commercial or tendered, though I suspect the later.

Sunday 16 August 2009

X62 History Again

In June this blog attempted to give a recent history of the X62 service that links Hull, Goole, Freeport Castleford and Leeds, and there was some useful information posted by an anonymous commenter. What may have helped though was if I remembered the old timetables/maps I had that could help give some insight. So now I've gone through my collection to create this brief recent history.

Back in August 2002 the timetable had departures on Monday to Saturday at (operator in brackets):

Hull - 0625 (EY) 0905 (SH) 1010 (EY) 1230 (SH) 1340 (EY) 1550 (SH) 1710 (EY)
Leeds - 0825 (EY) 1050 (SH) 1155 (EY) 1410 (SH) 1525 (EY) 1740 (SH) 1855 (EY)

SH=Stagecoach Hull
Only the 0625, 0905 and 1710 from Hull and 1740 and 1855 from Leeds served Brough.

So departures throughout the day with EYMS carrying the commuters to Leeds and both operators carrying the shoppers to Leeds. Stagecoach had the main evening commuter departure from Leeds at 1740 and East Yorkshire the main return departure for shoppers at 1525. Overall EYMS had four return workings and Stagecoach three return workings.

Just over a year later, in September 2003, EYMS had diverted their journeys via Howden in an attempt to attract extra passengers. However the number of journeys stayed the same (sorry no timetable, this information is from a Hull Bus Map).

Moving onto March 2005 and the service was Stagecoach only. EYMS had dropped their services by now and Howden was no longer served, though all services now served Brough. Stagecoach had increased their services from 3 return journeys to 4 on weekdays and 6 on Saturdays. (again no timetable, information from a Hull Bus Map).

By September 2007 the Monday to Saturday frequencies had remained the same, though two Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys had been added. The timetable was very much Leeds shopper orientated, as can be seen below.

Monday to Friday
Hull - 0920 1020 1320 1630
Leeds - 1105 1235 1520 1815

Hull - 0820 0920 1020 1320 1420 1630
Leeds - 1005 1105 1235 1520 1630 1815

Sunday and Bank Holidays
Hull - 1020 1445
Leeds - 1205 1630

November 2007 saw revised departure times Monday to Saturday, with all service from Hull departing at half past the hour and Leeds at twenty past the hour.

And that leads us back to the present, with the current timetable that reintroduces commuter services again (in the morning at least), and provides a better spread off journeys throughout the day. An extra weekday service has also been added, as can be seen below:

Monday to Friday
Hull - 0640 0940 1140 1340 1640
Leeds - 0830 1130 1330 1530 1830

Hull - 0640 0940 1140 1340 1540 1740
Leeds - 0830 1130 1330 1530 1730 1930

Sunday and Bank Holiday services where not altered.

Only time will tell if the new timetable is a success. I personally wonder if providing a morning commuter service to Leeds, but no return service (1530 is too early, 1830 too late) will work. Finally the coaches meant to be used on the service since last month have yet to appear and the service is in the hands off Volvo/Paladin single deckers. Lovely .... not.

New Service 109

Last Monday (10th August), EYMS started a new hourly morning/early afternoon service 109 between the Bricknell Estate in Hull, Cottingham and Castle Hill Hospital. It also serves St Margaret's Road in Cottingham, which has had no bus service since the 115 was rerouted earlier this year.

The service is fairly well co-ordinated with new Stagecoach service 110 between Bricknell Estate and Castle Hill Hospital to restore a roughly half hourly service, lost when the 63 service was axed last month.

There seems to be no paper timetable or map available yet so I am unsure off how much of Bricknell Estate is served, or if the service is a tendered or commercial operation.

As a side note, this has got me thinking that maybe Stagecoach could consider routing the 110 via St Margaret's Road in Cottingham to restore a link to Hull. The 110 isn't the quickest Cottingham to Hull bus, but it would be better than nothing, and would not add more than a minute or two to the existing running time of the 110.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Yorkshire Coast Line Improvements

Northern Rail are proposing some enhancements on services on the Yorkshire Coast Line between Hull and Scarborough, according to the latest Rail magazine. Previously mentioned as being under 'serious consideration', plans to extend the Sunday Scarborough service to operate year round have been submitted for approval.

Meanwhile it is proposed to provide a half hourly evening peak service between Hull and Bridlington - this is the daytime frequency but in the evening peak there is a 52 and 38 minute gap between services, though supplemented by Hull to Beverley shuttles operating up to every 15 minutes.

More trains for Howden

The latest edition of Rail magazine reports plans by Northern Rail to stop all Hull to York trains at Howden from December 2009. Currently all services stop at Brough and Selby but Howden is only served by some trains. Howden has become an increasingly popular station, and is also served by First Hull Trains London services, plus peak time Transpennine Express services to Leeds.

Northern also propose starting the enhanced Summer Sunday Hull to York timetable at Easter in 2010, rather than the usual May start.

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Scunthorpe Hospital Park and Ride Growing in Popularity

A staff park and ride from Glanford Park to Scunthorpe Hospital is growing in popularity since it started in April, with 144 staff signed up to use it on a regular basis.

Class 170's on South TransPennine Route

As previously mentioned as a possibility, two car class 170 'Turbostars' will be used on some services operated to Cleethorpes by Transpennine Express from September. The Grimsby Telegraph reports they will be used on 4 out of 16 Monday to Thursday services, and also on three weekend (2 Saturday/1 Sunday) services. However on weekends they will operate in multiple as four car units, providing a capacity increase compared to the current three car Class 185's. Cleethorpes drivers have been training on the Class 170's this summer, with special training journeys operating between Cleethorpes and Barton.

Also the at seat trolley service between Cleethorpes and Doncaster will be axed from September to try and reduce financial losses. The catering service will remain between Doncaster and Manchester.

Transpennine Express provide an hourly service from Cleethorpes, Grimsby Town, Barnetby and Scunthorpe to Doncaster, Meadowhall, Sheffield, Stockport, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport, with some services also serving Habrough. The service is referred to as the South TransPennine route.

First Hull Trains MD leaves

Mark Leving, the Managing Director of First Hull Trains (FHT) for the last six years left the company last week. James Adeshiyan has been appointed as General Manager as a partial replacement, with oversight from First Great Western Managing Director Mark Hopwood. No reason has been given for this sudden change at the top of FHT.

Updated 12th August with additional information from RAIL Magazine.